5 Tips to Set Up Your E-commerce Business from Scratch

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Depending on your goals, starting an eCommerce business may make sense. Because they do not require a physical site, eCommerce businesses give greater flexibility, affordability, and potential for many entrepreneurs.

eCommerce enterprises, which are businesses that distribute goods, services, and money via the internet, range in size and breadth from retail behemoths like Amazon to Etsy sites. Many sectors, including online shopping, have seen tremendous growth in the recent five years. According to the US Census Bureau, eCommerce sales in the U.S. climbed up to $154.5 billion in the third quarter of 2019. This accounted for around 11.2 percent of all retail sales in the country.

So, how do you go about starting an online store? This guide is here to help you.

Tips to Set up Your eCommerce Business

Let’s look at the fundamental steps that you need to follow to set up your eCommerce business and land your first sale.

1. Validate Target Market and Product Ideas

Personas should be considered before product conceptions. You can’t expect people to buy your products if you don’t know who you’re marketing to.

What are your credentials? What does the shop stand for? Who are the perfect consumers for you? You must follow a standard brand image and select a product that matches your brand’s personality. You can use Facebook to identify your target demographic online on their ad platform. Determine the precise number of people you can contact. Narrowing down will provide you with extremely precise numbers and demographics.

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You must now choose more tailored products that target a certain audience. Making a list of potential services or products to provide in your company is a fantastic place to start. Consider what interests you, your friends, coworkers, and family members.

2. Sourcing Your Products

You may wonder how to source your items at this stage, and dropshipping may be a realistic alternative for your eCommerce business strategy.

Dropshipping is becoming increasingly popular among entrepreneurs as a lower-risk alternative to more typical eCommerce company methods that require you to identify suppliers and maintain an inventory yourself.

Manufacturing items are great for companies that have an original idea or a variant of one that already exists. This is an excellent technique to source items if you’ve previously evaluated the market for a product and are convinced it will sell. Because manufacturing demands the biggest upfront expenditure, market research is critical.

3. Building Your Online Store

Once you are sure about the product, you can think about which platform you want to start your online store in. Shopify, maybe the most well-known and popular eCommerce platform, provides a comprehensive, user-friendly solution with a number of helpful add-ons that will help you get more sales on shopify.

Shopify memberships come in four types, starting at $9 per month for Shopify Lite (which does not contain a full web store). You may also use Shopify’s many features to improve the customer experience. Shopify recommendation engine is a great start to enhancing your in-store customer experience that can lead to better conversions.

If you have a WordPress site up and running already or are familiar with the technology, you can use WooCommerce to sell on it. The plug-in is open-source, free to download, and includes a wide range of eCommerce features. WooCommerce, on the other hand, is perfect for companies with some technical know-how who wish to take advantage of its open-source nature.

When your website is ready to accept purchases, place a test order to ensure that the procedure is simple for the consumer. Reduce the number of steps required to purchase anything online by just requesting the information required for the checkout process.

4. Set Your Shipping Rates and Methods

Years ago, packaging and shipping were just a method to get a product you ordered online, but now shipping, packaging, and presentation are all part of the eCommerce experience.

Set up your shipping zones and use a plugin to get real-time shipping prices, tracking, and a link to your fulfillment provider — whether it’s Amazon or someone else. There are plenty of service providers that offer to ship eCommerce products; find the ones that are most viable for your target audience and product.

Before you can begin shipping eCommerce orders, you must first choose your shipping price plan. One of the most effective techniques to prevent shopping cart abandonment is to provide free delivery to your clients. However, shipping is never free, as you might expect. Here are some ideas for offering free shipping:

  • Increase goods pricing to cover delivery costs (customer pays).
  • You pay the total cost of delivery from your profit margins (you pay).
  • Increase goods pricing significantly to offset some of the delivery costs (you and your customer pay).
  • Give certain consumers a coupon code for free delivery.

5. Leverage Social Media and Marketing Campaigns

Now that your products or services have been prepared and displayed on your online store, and your website is up and running, you’re ready to serve customers. To achieve this, you’ll need to promote your eCommerce business properly.

You might utilize Google AdWords, social media advertisements, word of mouth, and other marketing strategies. In terms of the foundation, you should optimize your business website for SEO and make use of any online marketing tools provided by your eCommerce platform.

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Aside from search, social media is one of the most important discovery platforms for eCommerce companies. You can assist your audience find your company and establish a powerful community of brand loyalists by posting content online.

If you’re doing it properly, social media will pique their interest in your brand, while your website will entice them to stay and take the next step in the buying process.

Conclusion

There are numerous benefits to starting an eCommerce business rather than a brick-and-mortar one: the initial investment is much lower, you can start small or large, and your online store can operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week for customers all over the country (or the world, if you’re willing to ship that far). It’s also easier and less expensive to grow operations if necessary, making eCommerce even more appealing to ambitious entrepreneurs.

There are, however, critical actions and expenditures to be made if you want your company to become an online success story. Your eCommerce website should be treated as any other business.


Author’s bio

Preethy Ann Kochummen is a digital strategist and marketer, mother, public speaker and mentor. A diverse career journey of 20+ years, rich in learning, has kept Preethy Ann motivated and hungry. She is always interested in meeting new challenges with wisdom and positivity. In her current role she is scaling marketing to drive and grow the business on par with the best examples. She has diverse interests and it’s what keeps her inspired and raring to go – from theatre to personal finance, content strategy to martech, digital marketing to artificial intelligence and so on.

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